NEWS

Starz nabs TV rights to four Yari films

Network to air 'Old,' 'Money,' 'Snow,' 'Redline'

Starz has bought exclusive pay TV rights to four movies produced and distributed by Bob Yari, led by “Even Money,” with Danny DeVito, Kim Basinger, Tim Roth and Ray Liotta.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Starz and are pleased to be able to continue that partnership,” said Yari, president of the Yari Film Group.

“Even Money,” directed by Mark Rydell, is a crime drama centered on gambling that saw limited theatrical release in 2007.

The three other titles in the Starz deal are “Kickin’ It Old School,” a Jamie Kennedy comedy about a breakdancer who emerges from a coma after 20 years; “Redline,” an action pic about illegal drag-racing that stars Eddie Griffin, Angus Macfadyen and Nadia Bjorlin; and “First Snow,” a thriller with supernatural overtones, starring Guy Pearce and Piper Perabo.

Previous movies from Yari that premiered exclusively on Starz include “The Illusionist,” with Edward Norton; Sidney Lumet’s “Find Me Guilty,” with Vin Diesel; and “Winter Passing,” with Ed Harris and Will Ferrell.

Yari was a producer of “Crash,” an adaptation of which Starz has commissioned as an upcoming TV series. Yari will be one of the producers of the series.


Starz buys 'Illusionist' TV rights

Company takes five Yari movies

Starz has bought exclusive pay TV rights to "The Illusionist" and four other movies produced and distributed by Bob Yari Prods.

Among the other titles is "Shortcut to Happiness," Alec Baldwin's directing debut which was filmed in 2001 under the title "The Devil and Daniel Webster."

Pic, which makes its theatrical bow later this year, is an update of the Stephen Vincent Benet story and Archibald Macleish play, about a writer (Baldwin) who sells his soul to the devil (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Anthony Hopkins and Kim Cattrall also star.

Nancy Silverstone, VP of program acquisitions for Starz Entertainment, said the films feature "strong casts, and have good budgets."

The Yari movie with the earliest availability to Starz -- it kicks off in March -- is "Winter Passing," a drama about an actress (Zooey Deschanel) and her novelist father (Ed Harris). Will Ferrell has a supporting role.

In the spring, the comedy "Find Me Guilty" will make its Starz debut. Sidney Lumet-helmed pic stars Vin Diesel as a mobster who defended himself during the longest mob trial in U.S. history. It grossed less than $2 million domestically.

Net will heavily promote the summer bow of "Illusionist" on Starz, premiering it in the Saturday-night showcase for high-visibility theatricals.

Another summer movie for Starz is "Haven" (2004), a crime drama that got only limited theatrical release despite starring Orlando Bloom and Bill Paxton.

"The Illusionist" has grossed $39.7 million in U.S. theaters, making it something of a surprise hit.